Everton captain Phil Jagielka still wants European qualification despite struggles

The Europa League was seen by some as a reason for Everton's poor league form at times last season.

Everton captain Phil Jagielka has said in the Liverpool Echo that he wants his side to try and qualify for European football, despite the effect it may have had on the Toffees last season.

Roberto Martinez's side made it to the last-16 of the Europa League last season, with many suggesting it had a negative effect on their Premier League campaign as they were dangerously close to being dragged into the relegation battle before picking up some form in order to pull away from the drop zone. 

After their elimination from the competition they showed some of the form from the previous season which saw them rack up a record Premier League points tally - and finished last season in 11th place

But the defender is quoted in the Liverpool Echo, saying: "Previously, the target is always to aim for the Champions League and see how we get on.

"I know the manager would love us to win something. We have really high standards here but we let ourselves down last season.

"We'd win a couple of games and then shoot ourselves in the foot and that is the way the season went.

"A lot of people blame the Europa League but if you ask me where I want to finish this season, then my answer would be in a European qualifying position. I want to be get back in there sooner rather than later."

It has been a long time since Everton won a trophy - with their latest major piece of silverware coming in 1995 when they beat Manchester United to win the FA Cup, and those associated with the club are desperate to end that drought.

Some will suggest that without European football this season, aiming to get back into European competition is a realistic target, but they will need to prepared for what follows the next season and to add sufficient strength in depth in order to compete on all fronts. 

Register for EVERTON team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch